The stars of the upcoming chick flick “He’s Just Not That Into You” have provided us with a handy list of things that guys will not have to worry about if they get dragged to the movie by their girlfriends. That was nice of them.
It’s pretty damned good. It runs you through all the standard feelings, makes you appreciate what you have, teaches us all a lesson about common knowledge, and even features a musical number along with one of the most emotionally-involved poop jokes ever written. It’s a nice out-of-left-field movie, and one of my favorite films of this year. Last year. Whatever.
Looks like I was wrong about this toppling Titanic. Still, $184M box office isn’t bad for a movie that features two people with sticks up their asses staring at each other for thirty minutes. Never underestimate the power of the teenage girl demographic.
The movie is actually okay after the girl figures out he’s a vampire and we stop berating her for not stating the obvious earlier. The story picks up, we get to see vampire stuff happen, and they live happily ever after until the sequel. Not quite as exciting as, say, that episode of “Buffy” where she gets a job at Burger King, but it’s got me curious to see where the story goes from here.
Disney finally gets a movie right for the first time since “Lilo and Stitch.” Granted, they needed John Lasseter to drive down from Pixar and show them how to do it, but Bolt still turns out to be pretty good and almost makes up for a few of Disney’s past travesties (“Home on the Range” and “The Wild” not included.) I won’t be surprised or complain if the homicidal hamster in a ball gets his own show after this.
Moves coming out this weekend
Taken: Liam Neeson. Bad guys took his daughter. Liam Neeson mad. New in Town: Never heard of this one… looking it up… oh. Renee Zellweger. The Uninvited: Another American Korean horror movie.
I just found these on my camera from a couple weeks back. I was apparently so impressed with this Chicken-Zucchini lasagna I made that I had to take a picture of it.
It was really good, but I’m going nuts trying to figure out what the heck that white thing is under the top layer. It looks like I cooked a sheet of printer paper into my meal. I don’t remember eating printer paper!
Let’s see, chicken, zucchini, peppers, mushrooms, onions, garlic, buffalo sauce, some tabasco, assorted herbs and spices, and shredded cheese… nope. None of that resembles a flat white sheet. And yet it somehow managed to evade detection up until now, long after I’ve digested it.
I wonder what other camera ghosts I’ve eaten?
I also found this sweet picture of one of the coolest Christmas presents ever.
My sonic screwdriver.
It’s basically just a screwdriver and flashlight in one, so I can’t go around frying door locks and overriding Dalek computers, but it doesn’t mean I can’t point the flashlight at stuff and make the sound effects whenever I need to assemble Ikea furniture.
Well, ladies and gentlemen, it’s that time again. That very special time of year when I take all the senseless cinematic violence I’ve soaked in over the last 12 months and hand out petty internet prizes to commemorate the carnage.
This isn’t one of those fancy movie lists where we look for the next “Citizen Kane” or wipe Marlon Brando’s ginormous ass with Oscars. The story doesn’t matter. The acting doesn’t matter. All those things that the critics try to convince us matter, don’t. Here, it’s all about the brainless car chases, dodging bullets, and running from explosions. To celebrate all those great moments when heroes finally just stop spouting bad dialogue and let their fists do the talking.
Every action movie this year has been reviewed. Here are the ten best.
10. Iron Man
Most Reckless Disregard for Political Process
This was the hardest pick on the whole list just because I found myself juggling it against other noteworthy films like “The Incredible Hulk” and “Forbidden Kingdom.” I think what finally set “Iron Man” apart was that the action cashes in on something we already want to see: somebody instantly flying across the ocean and beating the crap out of terrorists with the press of a button and a massive show of force. It’s a reasonable fantasy, right? We all want to help with the peace process, but it doesn’t fit into our schedule. Not to mention a lot of us can’t even stand up to phone solicitors. But if we had Iron Man suits, we could always take some time out after work to fly over to Iraq, throw some suicide bombers into a volcano, and get home in time for “Lost.” Actually, we’d probably use the suits to perform jackass stunts and rob banks, but it’s still a good movie.
Most Reckless Disregard for Brain Matter
Another close call in the race for the last two places on the list. “Wanted” gave us some sweet car chases, an insane train wreck sequence, and the usual slow-motion bullets, but what it really delivers on is the amazing glorification of splattering people’s brain’s everywhere. Imagine buddy here, just standing around, when all of a sudden, there’s a bump growing out of his forehead. And it gets bigger and bigger until – WOW! It’s a bullet exploding through his head in slow-motion! But that’s not enough. No. We get to go back in time! We get to see the bullet go through the head again and again! From the front! From the side! Now the camera’s moving through the brain itself! Now let’s do this a hundred more times! It so disgusting, yet so beautiful!
8. Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull
Most Reckless Disregard for the Internet
A lot has changed in twenty years. Most significantly, everyone born in the 80’s stopped being kids. All those fans who grew up never questioning the physics behind outrunning a giant boulder, using a raft as a parachute, or how a simple torch didn’t ignite a room full of gasoline are now questioning everything they used to love and finding out that being smart has robbed them of their childhood innocence and ability to enjoy a good campy action movie. But I still love you, Indy. And even if I’m smart enough to know how retarded it is to escape a nuclear blast by hiding in a refrigerator, I’m still glad you did it. Never change.
7. The Dark Knight
Most Reckless Disregard for Hospitals
Did anyone else see this movie? The Joker just wrecked that hospital! It was like KA-BLOOM!!! And I was like, WHOA! And as I stood there in awe, you know what the Joker does? He takes a brief pause, gathers his composure… and blows it up again! And it’s even better than the first time he blew it up! And my eyes are just bugging out of my head at this point! The rest of the movie wasn’t bad either.
Most Reckless Disregard for my Lunch
This film which disappeared into obscurity nearly a year ago still has my attention. Not because of how awe-inspiring the violence is, but because it takes head-exploding to that next level fans of the original can only dream of. Whenever Rambo offed somebody in this movie, it looked PAINFUL. It wasn’t fun and glamorous – it was him tearing mercenaries apart left and right. He was ripping them apart with machine guns down the spine and blowing off chunks of their face! He’d stick a guy with a knife, tear through half his torso, and send both halves flopping down a hill still attached to each other! Yes, it’s that disgusting, but it does get it’s point across. War sucks.
5. Kung Fu Panda
Most Reckless Disregard for Endangered Species
I had to do some research just to confirm it, but it seems like nearly every animal in this movie IS on the endangered species list. Even the Southern Chinese Tiger only exists in captivity now. So that makes it all the more fun to imagine that these characters are battling each other for some kind of Highlander prize. Like there can only be one species. But beyond that, there’s still some great kung fu fights, mostly likely inspired from “Kung Fu Hustle” or “Advent Children,” but with the same level of insanity and property damage.
4. Pineapple Express
Most Reckless Disregard for Household Objects
This is the only action movie on the list which can actually be described as original. Not a sequel, not a remake, not a comic book movie or children’s show come to life – just a plain old home-cooked movie. Like grandma used to make. But with drugs. The reason this show gets so high on the list is how it seamlessly integrates stoner comedy into the action to provide us with quick awkward laughs and drive the story forward. The characters are consistently high and very paranoid, so at any given moment, they can snap and throw an ashtray or cell phone at somebody. Or they could try to kick out a broken windshield during a car chase only to get their foot stuck in it. They repeatedly beat themselves up trying to do things we see in action movies all the time and it’s fantastic.
3. Speed Racer
Most Reckless Disregard for Physics
In spite of a 60-minute lull full of sentimental family moments and crooked business men talking about the history of engine parts, Speed Racer really picks up momentum in the last half with 75 minutes of seizure-inducing action. Well, not so much headache-inducing as say, “Cloverfield” or “Quantum of Solace.” Speed Racer takes care to manage it’s shots. And while they do come fast and hit hard, everything is still in focus and the camera is always centered on something. But the real star of the action sequences is the overall surrealism. Even though these cars are driving at 700 mph and whipping all over the place, the drivers never once experience broken necks. The one button which launches the Mach 5 into the air is also capable of flipping it in any conceivable direction with just the perfect amount of force to allow it to land right back on it’s wheels. A disregard for physics like this opens up the floodgates for waves of creative CGI stunts. And if that isn’t good enough, John Goodman wrestles a ninja in it. End of story.
2. Hellboy 2: The Golden Army
Most Reckless Disregard for Hellboy
For the longest time, one of the key elements to creating a successful action hero has been to give him flaws, and Hellboy is about as flawed a superhero as they come. If you look past his general ugliness and drinking problem, you’ll see a nearly indestructible super-demon who somehow manages to get his ass hilariously kicked by everyone every time. In the Golden Army alone, he gets blown out a building, punched across market places, tossed around by forest elementals, and even gets the crap beaten out of him by a sidekick. That’s like if Commissioner Gordon took a minute out of his time to bitch-slap Batman around. Naturally, Hellboy always bounces back and wins, much like Rocky, where there’s a lot more satisfaction in knowing that he suffered for our amusement. Also – he punches an old lady across the room, and that’s major Smashie points right there.
1. Death Race + Transporter 3
Most Reckless Disregard for Everything
There should be an unwritten rule that if you’re not Jason Statham, you fail at life. And Jason Statham loves to rub it in our faces. So I really had no choice when it came to tying these films. They are the Webster’s definition of “mindless action movie.”* The carnage, the violence, the explosions, the ongoing defiance of conventional logic, and complete lack of respect for human life are, in fact, so mindless, that they could have only come from the heart. Or the balls. Maybe the heart and the balls, because the balls produce testosterone and the heart circulates it around the body. In any case, we have Jason Statham running the show: the man who, when it comes to producing pure-blood action movies, has the biggest heart and balls around.
Thank you, Jason Statham, for being there to crush people under hoists. For being there to trash that Dreadnought and send that thing flying into pieces. For teaching us all that any of life’s problems can be solved simply by crashing our cars into them.
Thus concludes the 2nd Annual 2008 Smashie Awards.
* (Mindless Action Movie not actually in Webster’s Dictionary.)
All year, I’ve been saving up money so I could pay off my car by this year. My incentive for this was so that I wouldn’t be caught strapped for cash when they re-evaluate my mortgage rate later this year. So all year, it’s been nothing but sandwiches for lunch and making underwear last longer than the elastic permits.
Yesterday was the big day. It was bright and sunny out when I went down to Scotiabank (the guys handling my car loan,) walked up to the teller, and told him I’d like to make a big pre-payment. Unfortunately, to handle a transaction this big, I needed to take out a draft at the TD Bank first. Fair enough.
Fortunately, the TD was right across the street. I got my draft from a gorgeous teller girl and returned to Scotia.
Back at Scotia, the guy put it through and all was done. Until he noticed today was my monthly payment day. Meaning that if I didn’t go to the TD and stop that payment, they would take an extra payment out of my account at midnight.
I run back to TD. The teller girl tells me that they can’t stop the payment because it takes 4 days to intercept and that I need to go back to Scotiabank and get them to credit me the payment. Gack.
My third trip back to Scotiabank. It’s getting dark out. Their supervisor gets on the phone with TD’s supervisor and starts berating them about how they can’t stop a simple payment. Me and the guy at the desk snack on the supervisor’s candy while we wait. I have a gut feeling I’ll have to go back to the TD in a minute here. Finally, the supervisor tells me that they’ll take of it and we’re done here. Until she notices the numbers on my draft don’t match up and I need to run back to the TD to get a new one.
Whee! Back to the TD! I show the teller girl her draft error and politely request a new one. She goes into big-time apology mode and goes nuts for the next several minutes, wrestling with computer problems and trying to contact her supervisor so he can sign the new draft. I’m guessing now wouldn’t be a good time to ask her out.
4th trip back to Scotia! I hand them the draft and leave, stealing a chocolate pumpkin as I go. I turn on the headlights and venture home into the night.
Oddly enough, causing the banks stress was the best de-stresser I’ve had in a long time.
Did you see that?! He punches a car off an overpass! That’s in the movie! That wasn’t editing! That wasn’t some cheap trailer trick! He literally punches a car off an overpass! Go see it! Right now! I don’t care if it’s not out yet! Go see it!
Driving bicycles through pane glass? Jump-kicking drivers through passenger side windows? Car tires that are secretly portals to a dimension of infinite air?
I’ve never clapped so much watching a movie before. God bless you, Jason Statham. God bless you.
Movies out this Weekend:
Defiance: That James Bond guy in some kind of war movie, I think. He’s defying something. Paul Blart, Mall Cop: “Die Hard” in a mall with a fat guy. Actually, it doesn’t sound so bad when I put it that way. Now I want to see it. My Bloody Valentine 3D: *checks calendar* Hmm. They missed. Hotel for Dogs: *face-palm*
Given a lot of my present day behavior, there’s the distinct possibility that I was a dog in a past life. Just a few things I’ve noticed about my habits to give me this impression:
Signs that eating chocolate may kill me someday
– I’ll eat and drink whatever is put in front of me without any sense of moderation and chew on anything that gets within a few inches of my mouth.
– I’ll often wake up on top of the covers and curled up at the foot of my bed.
– I’ve been known to chase cats on occasion.
– I can hear dog whistles.
– My eyebrows make up 90% of my body language (they have to work overtime since I can’t wag my tail.)
– When people are sad, my first instinct is to put my head on their lap and listen to their problems (only applies to women, and they probably think the lap thing is creepy.)
– When people are angry, my first instinct is to go into the other room confused and hang my head until they stop being angry.
– When people are happy, my first instinct is to sit near the happiest people/women and let them lavish attention upon me.
– I often fantasize about being Scooby-Doo in a Daphne-Velma sandwich (okay, I made that one up – but I DID put a mental picture in your head.)
– Rub me the right way, and I’ll be your loyal-to-the-end best friend forever.
Of course, a lot of my behavior can still be attributed to other possible past animal lives. My habit to spend time on the couch and smell things could have been picked up from being a cat. Other times, I’ll perch on something like a vulture and scare the crap out of everybody. Then there’s my overwhelming desire to reign destruction down upon mankind and enslave the human race, which I guess makes me either a dragon or an incredibly kick-ass unicorn.
You can hit me with a newspaper for that terribly lame dog pun in the post title now.
Terrence sent me this picture last night. It’s quite possibly one of the greatest things I have ever seen and has already become my new desktop, avatar, profile pic, and MSN face. Kudos to whomever drew it.
If I ever get a dog, I will name it Sam and get a rabbit named Max to go with it.